So I’ve finished the book and fallen in love with Agatha Christie’s twisted mind all over again! However, instead of posting all about the mysterious ending or the crafty extra chapter, I will instead pick up where I left off on Sunday.
This brings me to some more questions…
Question 4: On pages 80-92, several characters are tortured by their memories and their guilt. They are thinking about the charges laid against them on the gramophone. What are some words and phrases that Agatha Christie uses to suggest that these characters feel guilty for those alleged crimes?
Question 5: There are several symbols at work in this novel – the rhyme, the soldier statues and the weapons/methods used to kill each guest. Think about the connection between these items. Why do you think Agatha Christie left so many clues and made the deaths so predictable? Why didn’t the guests figure out the pattern and do something about it all sooner?
Question 6: On page 114-119, the characters make an important discoveries about why they were all invited to Soldier Island. Explain what each of these characters has in common and why they were most likely invited to the Island to be killed. Based on these answers, which guest, do you think, is the hidden “U.N. Owen”?
The characters all unravel the mystery of the nursery rhyme and figure that the guests are being murdered according to the order and method suggested in its lines. At this point, they begin a thorough search of the island – hoping to find this mysterious UN Owen. What do they learn in this search?
Now let’s review more of the deaths:
SOLDIER 3: “…. Travelling to Devon, One said he’s stay there and then there were Seven.” Who was the third guest to die? How did he die?
The connection between this murder and the nursery rhyme is a bit trickier. No one travels to Devon, clearly, as they are all stuck on Soldier Island. But the third dead guest does refuse to leave his meditative spot on the cliff. Remember now? General Macarthur! What crime was he guilty of and how did his guilt affect his mental state leading up to his death?
What’s the connection between wanting to “stay” and the way that Macarthur died? (see p. 129)
After Macarthur’s death, the guests become more suspicious of one another. Who leads them in an “investigation” of who the murderer could be? Why do you think each guest is beginning to point fingers at others and is so quick to call someone guilty without proof?
Right before the fourth death, someone locks up everything, hoping to prevent further crimes from being committed. What is the meaning behind Rogers going through these motions before going to bed that evening and how does that connect to what happens to Rogers the next morning?
SOLDIER 4: “chopped himself in halves…” Who dies next and how?
On the same day as the fourth death, the fifth death occurs.
SOLDIER 5: “playing with a hive… a bumblebee stung one and then there were five.” This death is a curious one. There was no bee hive, however, the death mimicked a bee sting. What did the murderer do in order to keep in line with the nursery rhyme?
That’s enough for now. But as you read, pay attention to the psychological effects the deaths have on each guest. What roles do guilt and innocence play in this murder mystery?